President Chiang Kai-shek is China's man of destiny. For more than half a century, his?
Birthday celebration activities
President Chiang's fourth inaugural
President Chiang's birth places
Dr. Sun Yat-sen delivering speech and meeting with Chiang
Marriage with Mayling Soong
Last battle before unification of the country
Japanese attack on Manchuria and Shanghai
Communist subversion and sabotages
Suppression of Communist rebellion
Declaration of war against Japan
Chungking and Japanese bombings
Pearl Harbour incident and China War Theatre
Visit to India
Chinese expeditionary force
Abolition of unequal treaties
Japanese defeats and V-J Day
Return to Nanking
Founder of the United Nations
First constitutional election
Communist rebellion and peace negotiation
Chinese mainland under Communist rule
President Chiang resuming duties in Taiwan
First Communist pilots
MIG-15 Pilot Liu Cheng-sze
Chinese air force and missile unit
Armed forces and warships on the sea
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Background: President Chiang Kai-shek is China's man of destiny. For more than half a century, his life has been bound up with the triumphs and trials, and with the progress and pain, of free, republican China. His life has been dedicated to the service of his country and its people -- and also to the cause of freedom for all men everywhere. On October 31 of 1966 President Chiang becomes 80 years old in the Chinese way of reckoning. Throughout the world Chinese and other men of goodwill will wish him well -- and success for his cause. These pictures are of the celebration in Taiwan last year. His 80th birthday party will be bigger and more colourful.
President Chiang was re-elected President of the Republic of China for the fourth time in May of 1966. He is seen here taking the oath of office at ceremonies in Taipei. He is the only chief of state China has known under the Constitution of 1946. Yet his position of leadership in the Republic of China really goes back to the Revolution that overthrew dynastic rule in 1911. He was a young commanding officer in that fight for freedom. Afterward he stood at the side of Founding Father Dr. Sun Yat-sen in the Republic's difficult early days, and then went on to terminate warlordism, unify China, defeat the Japanese, and carry on the fight against Communism. After the fourth inaugural he told 200,000 cheering citizens that he will lead them to victory over Communism and restore constitutional rule to the Chinese mainland. (Followed by sound effect)
President Chiang Kai-shek was born in Chikow, a peaceful hamlet at the foot of picturesque mountains in Fenghua county, Chekiang province, on October 31, 1887. He came of sturdy farming stock but his grandfather and father were also scholars. It was here that President Chiang was born. His father died when he was only nine and his formative years were strongly influenced by his mother. He went to high school in the nearby town of Ningpo. After a year at the Paoting Military Academy in North China, he left for Japan in 1907 to study military science at Tokyo's Shinbo Gokyo.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen had been leading the revolutionary movement against the Manchu dynasty for many years. In 1907, Chiang Kai-shek joined Dr. Sun's revolutionary party, the Tungmenghui, which was to become the Kuomintang, or Chinese nationalist party. Two years later the young military cadet met Dr. Sun personally for the first time. The scene was Tokyo. Dr. Sun immediately sensed Chiang's capacity for leadership. Here, he said, is the man who will lead the Revolution and become its hero. The Revolution was fought and won in 1911. But China was not yet to have peace or even unity. Warlords challenged Dr. Sun's attempts to establish a national government. In 1924 Dr. Sun named Chiang Kai-shek commandant of the new Whampoa Military Academy to train officers for the revolutionary forces. Here Dr. Sun and Chiang were at the ceremony inaugurating the academy.
Dr. Sun died in 1925. The heavy responsibility of unifying China fell entirely on the shoulders of President Chiang. As commander-in-chief of the National Revolutionary Forces he led his army northward in a 1926 expedition to break the power of the warlords. He moved his troops through Hunan and Kiangsi province in three columns. In September he took Wuchang, the capital of Hupeh. Two months later he captured Nanchang, the capital of Kiangsi. The victorious army, welcomed by the people of city and country-side alike, reached Hangchow, the capital of Chokiang, in February of 1927. The next month, Nanking, the capital of Kiangsu, fell and was chosen as the new national capital.
In December of 1927, President Chiang took as his bride Miss Mayling Soong, a daughter of one of China's most distinguished families and a graduate of Wellesley College in the United States. They were married in Shanghai. Soon afterward, Chiang joined his wife in the Christian faith. Christianity has been a powerful force and a source of inspiration in his daily life. In January of 1928, Chiang and his armies resumed the Northward Expedition. Now opposing him was the last important obstacle to unification -- a warlord clique led by Chang Tso-ling of Manchuria. Chang was killed in a train accident and his son, Chang Hsueh-liang, soon pledged allegiance to the National Government. China was a united country after nearly 20 years of civil strife.
Chiang Kai-shek -- following economic guidelines laid down by Dr. Sun Yat-sen -- began a gigantic program of reconstruction. Railroads and highways were built, industries established, and resources exploited. The new China seemed headed for an era of rapid development and unprecedented prosperity.
Japan feared China's new-found unity and coveted Chinese economic resources. On September 18, 1931, the Japanese militarists suddenly attacked Mukden in Manchuria and on January 28, 1932 they shelled Shanghai. A year later Japanese troops seized Shanghaikwan, where the Great Wall meets the Yellow Sea. Chiang Kai-shek knew war with Japan was inevitable but he sought to delay its outbreak in order to improve China's defense and modernize its armies first.
While Japanese aggressors moved on China from without, the Soviet Union sent agents to bore from within in an attempt to communize China. Involved in the plot were Soviet embassy personnel in Peiping led by Commissar Leo Karakhan. Secret documents revealing the conspiracy were seized in Peiping as early as 1927. The Russians planned to establish a Chinese Communist puppet regime. China's foreign-instigated Reds pretended to cooperate with the government but engaged in subversion behind the scenes.
Chiang Kai-shek realized that with Japan soon to be fought, the Communists were threatening the nation's survival. He undertook several anti-Communist suppression campaigns that destroyed Red bases in South China. Remnant Communist forces fled to North China where they continued the rebellion.
Late in 1936 Chiang Kai-shek's life was threatened in the famous Sian incident. Sian is the capital of northwestern province of Shensi. Chiang had gone there to urge government forces to press on with their campaign against Communists. He was taken prisoner by Chang Hsueh-liang in collaboration with Communists to compel him to stop anti-Communist suppression. Although his life hung by a thread, Chiang refused all his captors' demands. Kill me or set me free, he said. The nation was aroused. Government forces moved toward Sian. Madame Chiang went there to intercede. Finally he was released and all China celebrated. Generalissimo and Madame Chiang returned to Nanking and were welcomed by Lin Sen, then chairman of the National Government.
On July 7, 1937, Japan launched all-out war against China. The first attack was at Lukouchiao, the famed Marco Polo Bridge near Peiping. For More than half the eight-year war, China had to stand alone against the military might of Japan. The news of Japan's frontal assault reached Chiang at Lushan, where he was presiding over an armed forces' training institute. He knew China's critical hour had come.
(Preceded by live speech) Generalissimo Chiang told the people that China didn't want war but that Japanese aggression would be fought to the end. The Japanese assault brought death and injury to millions of Chinese people. Millions of others lost their homes. But morale never faltered, nor did confidence in victory. The people followed their leader's call for national and personal sacrifice. At Chiang's order the coastal lands were scorched and the people withdrew to the interior, fighting the Japanese every step of the way. Chiang's strategy saved China and paved the way for Japan's defeat.
In 1939 the government moved its seat to Chungking in Szechwan province in West China. Japan, beginning to worry, entered upon various peace conspiracies. Chiang Kai-shek would have none of them. So the Japanese decided to bomb Chungking and other centres of resistance, hoping to force the Chinese government to surrender. Between 1939 and 1941 China bore the entire brunt of Japan's mighty air power. In one Chungking raid of May, 1939, nearly 5,000 persons were killed. The people only fought more tenaciously -- at the lathe as well as in the field. Madame Chiang was a tower of strength, not only at her husband's side, but also in encouraging the wounded and reinforcing the country's morale.
To obtain war supplies from the West, a highway was built from Ledo in India to link with the Yunnan-Burma Road. This road and the air over "The Hump" were China's lifeline.
On December 8, 1941, Asian time, Japan bombed Pearl Harbour and the Pacific War began. Great Britain and the United States declared war on Japan. China became one of the allied nations and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was asked to assume supreme command in the China War Theatre. However, China still had to fight almost alone and with scant outside assistance at its ??? concentrated on Africa, Italy, and France -- and later on the islands of the Pacific.
On February 9, 1942, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek visited India to confer with allied commanders and meet with Mahatma Gandhi. China agreed to send an expeditionary force to the assistance of British troops the Japanese had surrounded in Burma.
At the call of Generalissimo Chiang, 100,000 Chinese youths volunteered to fight the Japanese in Burma. In one battle at Yenangyang, the Chinese rescued more than 7,000 British and Burmese troops from Japanese encirclement.
General Claire Chennault and his Flying Tigers, made up of American volunteers, were fighting for China long before Pearl Harbour. They helped modernize the Chinese air force, and the Japanese finally were brought under bombing attack. Chinese planes even flew over the Japanese home islands. But at the Generalissimo's order, they dropped leaflets and not bombs.
In January, 1943, the United States and Britain announced relinquishment of extraterritorial rights in China and signed treaties of friendship with the Chinese government.
Madame Chiang Kai-shek addressed the Congress of the United States in Washington in February, 1943. She told the American Senate and House of Representatives that China wanted a better world not only for herself but for all mankind.
On November 22, 1943, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek went to Egypt for the Cairo Conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It was agreed there that a defeated Japan would be compelled to return Manchuria, Taiwan and the Pescadores to China.
With 70 divisions bogged down on the Chinese mainland, Japan was pushed back in the Pacific toward her home islands, and these were under incessant air attack. Germany's surrender in Europe was followed by the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan was beaten to her knees. On August 14, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender, Throughout China the people celebrated widely. Eight years of war and suffering were at an end.
At Nanking, Neiji Okamura, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Expeditionary Force in China, surrendered to Chinese General Ho Ying-chin, who acted on behalf of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
On May 5, 1946, the National Government returned to Nanking from the wartime capital of Chungking. The Republic rejoiced. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, who by then had been elected chairman of the National Government, led military and civic officials in paying homage at Dr. Sun Yat-sen's tomb outside Nanking. The chief of state pledged to follow Dr. Sun's Three Principles of the People in rebuilding China into a modern nation. These principles are nationalism, democracy and social welfare.
In April of 1945, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek endorsed China's advocacy of the United Nations Organization. Then, at San Francisco, a Chinese delegate signed the United Nations Charter and made China one of the founding members. The Republic of China received one of the five permanent seats on the Security Council.
Under the Chinese Constitution of 1946, the first in China's history, a national assembly was convened at Nanking in March of 1948. Chiang Kai-shek was elected the first President of the Republic of China. An elected Legislative Yuan, an elected Control Yuan, and other instruments of constitutional Government also began to function. This is the certificate of the President's election by the National Assembly.
Just as China was making great democratic progress and trying to bind up the wounds of war, the Chinese Communists, aided and abetted by Soviet Russia, stepped up their rebellion. The United States sent General George C. Marshall to Nanking to seek a compromise and peace. An agreement was signed by the government representative Chang Chun and the Communist representative Chou En-lai. But the Reds did not keep their promises. They continued their military attacks. By the end of 1949 the Communists occupied the mainland.
This is the Chinese mainland under Communist rule. The Chinese Reds demanded that the people hand over youth, hand over manpower, leave their homes, leave their villages, and give their lives to the Communist Party. Hundreds of millions of people are living lives of slavery. University graduates are sent to the countryside to do forced labor. The old must toil, too, and sex provides no exception. The Communists regimented the people into communes in 1958 and have tried to make militia of the whole population. After work and military training, the people must attend struggle meetings, denounce each other, and parrot the slogans of Mao-think mythology. Millions are hungry and in rags. Their only hope is for the return of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and the forces of the National Government.
President and Madame Chiang Kai-shek flew to Taiwan in 1949. At that time the President had temporarily put aside his leadership of the government to make possible the final futile negotiations with the Communists. Soon after he reached Taiwan the people demanded he resume duties as chief of state and he did so. This was the turning point in the Republic of China's struggle against the Communists.
With President Chiang back at the helm, the National Government set about making Taiwan the model province for China's reconstruction and the bastion for counterattack and recovery of the Chinese mainland. One of the greatest triumphs was peaceful land reform. Nearly nine-tenths of farm land is now owned by those who farm it. Production has gone up and up. With the second highest population density in the world -- and the highest ratio to arable land -- Taiwan feeds its 13 million people and export huge quantities of agricultural products. Per capita income is one of Asia's highest. Huge multipurpose water projects provide irrigation, power and other benefits.
Industry is booming. Products include refined petroleum, steel, automobiles, fertilizers, and electrical appliances and components, and many others. Foreign trade exceeds one billion U.S. dollars a year. Taiwan is the most prosperous province in China's history.
Experience in democratic government is increasing rapidly. Local officers are filled in free elections involving several parties. President Chiang Kai-shek is always among the first to cast his secret ballot.
Since 1949, millions of Chinese have turned thumbs down on Communism and escaped from the occupied mainland. The largest single group was made up of 14,000 prisoners of war in Korea. At war's end they renounced the Communists and came to Taiwan.
Many fishermen from the mainland are also among freedom-seekers. They say life under Communism is hell. Their rags speak eloquently of this truth.
Kao Yu-tsung and Shao Hsi-yen flew a Communist plane to Korea in 1961, then were warmly welcomed by their brethren in Taiwan.
Liu Cheng-sze piloted a Communist MIG-15 jet fighter to Taiwan in 1962. He said most Red pilots would defect if they had the chance.
Chinese Communist airmen led by Pilot Li Hsien-pin flew a Russian-built Ilyushin-28 jet bomber to Taiwan in November, 1965. He met his fellow fliers who had chosen freedom. This is the only Communist bomber ever flown to freedom.
All the former Communist airmen have joined the free Chinese air force. This is the strongest air arm among the free Asian countries. In 1958 its fighters shot down 32 MIGs while losing only one Sabrejets in the Battle of Kinmen. The Chinese armed forces also have ground-to-air missiles. (Followed by sound effect)
President Chiang Kai-shek has charged the Chinese armed forces with the sacred duty of recovering the Chinese mainland and of freeing the more than 600 million compatriots there from Communist tyranny. His pledge to the waiting Chinese people on the mainland is the same as General MacArthur's -- "I shall return". Of that there is no slightest doubt. At 80, President and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek is fighting for freedom more vigorously than ever. He looks toward the mainland to find peace and security not only for China but also for Asia and all the world.